Student Leaders Program
StudentsThat Lead The Way
It’s application time at Hampton University. Prospective students are applying to the school and current students are applying to HU’s student organizations. The organizations take just as much care in selecting their new members as HU does in admitting students. The Student Leaders’ application process even requires prospective members to get a passport.
“During student leader week, we take the applicants to Chapel and give them an overview of the program and their passport that tracks all of the events they attend during Student Leader week,” said junior Victoria Cotter, who has been a Student Leader for a year.
The Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program is responsible for many events organized during the year. The members are some of the most influential students on campus, and they work hard year round to organize events that are both fun and informative for their peers. Some of their premier events include New Student Orientation week (NSO Week), Parent’s Weekend, Homecoming (in conjunction with the Student Government Association), World AIDS Day, Black History Month, and activities during Student Leader Week and Spring Fest.
This year, Spring Fest included a Gospel Fest, a balloon drop, a block party complete with fireworks, a Waterfront Fest, the comedy show featuring Kevin Hart, the Miss Hampton Fashion Show, a concert featuring Slim from 112, J. Holiday and Raheem DeVaughn, and the High School Day step show.
The Student Leaders are also the big brothers and sisters to incoming freshmen, so when it comes time to take on new members, they make sure that they are going to be as dedicated as the rest of the group. The prospective members receive their passports on the Monday of Student Leader Week. Before they can even sign up for an interview, they must attend all of the events during the week and pass a test about the history of Hampton and the Student Leadership Program.
This year, over 300 students applied to the program. “The student activities staff makes the selections based on the applicant’s interviews, reference letters, campus involvement, essay, test score, and grade point average,” said junior Ryan Brown, also a first-year Student Leader.
Brown was recently elected the Student Representative for Quintessence Seven. “Student Leaders are Presidents and Vice-Presidents of organizations and class officers,” said Brown. “The newly elected officials of the Student Government Association are all Student Leaders. It’s a program that demands activity within other organizations on campus.”
The program also demands a lot of time from its participants. “Every day of the week I have some meeting or event for the program,” said Brown. “The program teaches members time management skills.”
Sharon Trabbold, the director of student activities, oversees the Student Leadership Program, but it is organized by the students. Some students serve as co-facilitators who assist with planning and serve as a communication liaison between the student activities staff and Student Leaders. They are the heads of the committees and keep the bond strong between the Student Leaders.
There is a committee for just about every event on campus. Brown is the chair of the Seminar Committee, the Spiritual Emphasis Committee, the Float Committee, and co-chair of the Homecoming Parade Committee.
Students of all majors join the Student Leaders program for many different reasons. “I didn’t have a big brother or sister, and I really wanted to be that support to someone else,” said Cotter. “It’s a big transition from high school to college, and it’s a big transition leaving home and going to school; and I want to help other students with that transition.”
Brown says, “The Student Leadership program is truly a family. I would encourage people to join the program, but it’s not all fun and games. We have fun together, but rarely do people see the time and hard work we have invested in this University.”